Thursday, 26 September 2013

HIV+ transgender alleges bias at KEM

—Sumitra Deb Roy 

Mumbai: A transgender HIV counsellor has complained to the dean of KEM Hospital, alleging discrimination with regard to her gender identity. Sheetal (name changed), who is HIV positive, also alleged that she was meted out differential treatment due to her status. 
    In her complaint, the counsellor, working with an NGO for eight years, said, “The nurse had spilled the blood she had drawn from me for tests. When I pointed it out, a resident doctor said patients with such infectious diseases should not come
to the hospital. The doctor suggested that we seek treatment at a private hospital,” Sheetal (30) said. Sheetal is suffering from liver failure and was brought to the hospital on Monday. 
    Dean Dr Shubhangi Parkar she said KEM has been treating HIV patients for many years, and there are clear protocols to deal with the cases. “It is unlikely doctors would discriminate on the basis of HIV status,” she said. Parkar said Sheetal had objected to the medical records not referring to her as a “transgen
der or TG”.

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